Draft Prospects

Photo of Wallace Gilberry
Wallace Gilberry (DE)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 263
College: Alabama
Conference: SEC
Hometown: Bay Minette, AL
High School: Baldwin County
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Overview

Overview

What started out as a promising 2007 season for the Crimson Tide turned into a second-half tailspin, as Alabama lost their final four regular season games. The main culprit was the Tide secondary, which allowed 221.31 yards per game, compared to an average of 173.08 yards the previous season. Among the bright spots was the play of Wallace Gilberry.


Gilberry led the team in quarterback sacks and tackles for loss three times during his four-year career. He would finish his career at Alabama second all-time in tackles behind the line of scrimmage (60.5), fifth on the Tide's all-time sack list (21.5) and 10th in quarterback pressures (38).


At Baldwin County High School, Gilberry was an unheralded tight end earlier in his career before coming into his own at defensive end during his final prep campaign. He started seven games at tight end as a junior, but made a name for himself on the defensive side of the ball. As a senior, he collected 77 tackles (61 solo) with seven sacks, seven stops for losses, six pass deflections, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.


It wasn't long ago that Gilberry's ambitions fell short of the football field. Without recruiting interest from Division I-A schools, he "was hoping to be a manager at IHOP." "I'm being honest with you, I was a server for three months," Gilberry said. "I was working my way up the ladder."


Gilberry eventually parlayed an invitation to the Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star Classic into a college football future. Gilberry finished the all-star game with six tackles and two sacks in a performance deemed "dominating" by Press-Register sports editor Randy Kennedy. Alabama coach Mike Shula took notice. With just over a minute to play, he sacked the Mississippi quarterback for a 14-yard loss in the red zone to help give his team the victory.


Coming off a standout high school senior season, Gilberry was redshirted in 2003 at Alabama. He had a banner 2004 preseason camp and carried that momentum over into the season. Despite playing behind Todd Bates at left defensive end for all 12 games, he recorded 28 tackles (14 solo) with seven pressures, leading the Tide with 6.5 sacks and 13 stops for losses. He also caused and recovered a pair of fumbles.


In 2005, Gilberry took over left defensive end duties, starting his final 38 games at that position. He registered 37 tackles (16 solo), 1.5 sacks, 10 stops behind the line of scrimmage and six pressures. He also broke up a pass and recovered a fumble. He added 10 pounds of bulk to his frame prior to 2006, going on to post 43 tackles (22 solo) while leading the Tide with 3.5 sacks and 10.5 stops for losses in 2006. He also collected 10 pressures as a junior.


The Ted Hendricks Award semifinalist finally received postseason recognition as a senior, being named to the All-Southeastern Conference first-team. He ranked third in the nation and led the SEC with a career-high 27 stops behind the line of scrimmage, the second-highest season total in school history. He finished second on the squad with a career-high 80 tackles (47 solo) and his 10 sacks tied for sixth on the school's single-season chart. He added 15 pressures with two forced fumbles and also batted away a pair of passes.


In 50 games at Alabama, Gilberry started 38 contests. He finished with 188 tackles (99 solos), as his 21.5 sacks for minus-135 yards rank fifth in Tide annals. His 60.5 stops for losses of 223 yards rank second and his 38 pressures rank 10th on Alabama's career-record list. He caused four fumbles, recovered three others and deflected four passes.


High School

Attended Baldwin County (Bay Minette, Ala.) High School, playing football for head coach Jack French...An unheralded tight end earlier in his career before coming into his own at defensive end during his senior season...Started seven games at tight end as a junior, but made a name for himself on the defensive side of the ball...As a senior, he collected 77 tackles (61 solo) with seven sacks, seven stops for losses, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.


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Analysis

Analysis

Positives: Tight-skinned player who is close to maximum growth potential, but could add another 10 pounds of bulk...Better run defender than edge rusher...Contains the outside run, but must do a better job of opening his hips when redirecting inside...Shows good intensity in his charge to the pocket, but is best when using his hands to fend off blocks, as he can be absorbed by the linemen when he short arms...Has improved his work ethic, but must still put forth the extra effort in the weight room...Good taking angles and when he keeps his pads down, he is effective at slipping and avoiding blockers...Needs to show better dedication to his craft (training, film review, etc.) but has improved in the last year...If he keeps his hands active, he can gain ground off the snap vs. a lethargic blocker...His low center of gravity is an advantage in slipping under bigger blockers that struggle to keep their pads down...Has a functional first step to get up field vs. the slow-footed offensive tackles and reach the corner...If he spots a free lane, he is able to shoot gaps inside coming off the ball...Improved as a senior extending his arms to keep blockers off him, but needs to separate quicker once locked on...Has decent balance to stay on his feet when trying to break down and capture ballcarriers on the outside...Not quick-twitched, but has the body lean to leverage...Not instinctive, but will close and track the ball once he clears the pile (more of a reactor who needs to see the ball first)...Lets blockers into his legs too much, but still manages to make plays off the backside...Has enough short-area quickness to move down the line in pursuit, keeping his feet working through trash (but will get handled by double teams)...Best contributing on the move, as he struggles at the point, lacking bulk and strength to hold up...When he uses his hands well to get off blocks, he can maintain separation and control offensive tackles...One of his better assets is energy, as he may not make the play, but it is not due to a lack of effort...Doesn't have the change-of-direction agility to flatten down, but will deliver some pop on contact...More of a push-the-pocket type of pass rusher, but did show improved feel for knowing when to bend and dip...When he gets his hands on a blocker, he knows how to pull, rip and drag down in attempts to separate (is finally starting to learn how to use his long arms to extend, but must continue to be active with his hands when trying to get free).


Negatives: Has a decent-sized frame, but could use more muscle development and added thickness to his lower body...Lacks the raw power to hold his ground firmly at the point of attack in one-on-one confrontations and is better when slanting or playing off the edge rather than working in-line...Has adequate quickness for short-area pursuit, but his feet tend to die when having to give chase over a long distance...Looks a bit stiff when trying to change direction and does not show suddenness in his initial burst off the snap...Needs to show looseness in his hips when trying to play off the corners and he struggles to make plays in space...Can take plays from the chalkboard to the playing field, but is not quick to diagnose plays and track the ball, as he does not play with great awareness to his surroundings (can get washed out of the play when he fails to protect his body from low blocks and runs into spots at times, getting neutralized by double teams)...Needs to be monitored in the offseason, as he will do just what is asked, nothing more in the weight room (did improve some as a senior)...More of an effort-type of tackler than one that plays with brute power or effective quickness (not a great athlete)...Adequate leader who will take a teammate to task (but needs to practice what he preaches)...Does not have that quick first step or suddenness to redirect and accelerate moving upfield and lacks a good feel for blocking schemes...Does not have the hand punch or upper-body power at the point of attack to control the line of scrimmage, as he fails to use his long arms consistently in attempts to ward off reach blocks...Won't surprise a blocker with a sudden surge off the snap to work down the line and make plays in pursuit...Shows only adequate strength, balance, and ability to keep his feet and hold his ground vs. plays directed right at him (best when angling than anchoring)...Shows adequate hand placement, but is not the type that keeps them active, as he does not have the strength to maintain separation and control blockers...High-energy player who will run to the ball, but he lacks the loose hips and ability to navigate through traffic and while he generally gets to the quarterback with a decent swim move, he needs to add to his array of pass rush moves...More of a slanting, push-the-pocket defender who does not generate enough speed to turn the edge and impact the outside running game...Was tried at linebacker during Senior Bowl practices, but failed to impress, as he showed that his stiff hips prevented him from getting into the flat quickly and he failed in attempts to jam tight ends and backs on short-area routes...Was also constantly beaten back by offensive tackles due to a lack of speed and pass-rush moves.


Compares To: MARK ANDERSON-Chicago...Former teammates, neither is going to be dominant anchoring at the point of attack and both rely on hand placement and a jolting punch in order to defeat blocks. Gilberry was more consistent shooting his hands as a senior than in the past. Even with his long arms, he struggled to play off double teams or generate much action when working in-line. His best success comes from slipping and avoiding the bigger linemen, but he has some success when he keeps his pads down and tries not to get into one-on-one battles (lacks the strength to win many of those). Like Anderson, he could bring some decent value in a sub package, but Gilberry is not an elite athlete and his less-than-stellar work ethic means a coach will have to monitor him in the training room. Late on the second day, he could bring some value, but there are too many questions about his athletic ability to warrant early-round consideration.


Injury Report

2003: Underwent right knee arthroscopic surgery before reporting to Alabama's fall camp (7/01).


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Q & A

Growing up, who was your favorite NFL player and why?
Reggie White. The way he dominated and took over the game.
In college, what player hit you the hardest? Who was the recipient of your best hit?
In practice, my teammate Andre Smith. JaMarcus Russell, my good friend, was the recipient of my biggest hit in college.
What TV-show marathon will keep you on the couch all day?
Martin.
What are the five most-played songs in your iPod? What's the one song you hope nobody ever finds out is in your iPod?
Just my imagination - the Temptations.
What celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life and why?
Jammie Foxx.
What is one thing your teammates don't know about you?
I am a mama's boy.
What reality TV show would you like to be on and why?
Survivor. To participate in challenges and have the opportunity to work with others.
What's your proudest moment in football? Proudest moment off the field?
When I sacked JaMarcus Russell. My proudest moment off the field was graduating from the University of Alabama.
Who has been the biggest influence on your football career and how?
My great grandmother, Olivia. She kept me focused and on the right path. She was always an inspiration to me.
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